Today I'm going to discuss the tooth extraction procedure and what you need to know before you get into your dentist's chair.
A lot of times people find themselves in the dental office because they're in pain. Sometimes the removal or the extraction of the tooth is the only relief for the pain.
- Tooth Extraction Pain
- Tooth Extraction Procedure
- Possible Tooth Extraction Complications
- What To Expect After A Tooth Extraction
- Pain After A Tooth Extraction
- Tooth Extraction Costs
- After The Tooth Extraction: Cosmetic Dental Options
Tooth Extraction Pain?
The first thing that you can anticipate is, getting out of the pain. The first step will be anesthesia or the injection of anesthesia in the area so that you can be comfortable throughout the tooth extraction procedure.
I like to tell my patients, "the amount of discomfort that you will receive during an injection does not compare to the amount of pain that you have experienced prior to coming to the office."
Now, what that medication does once it's injected is, it makes you numb. And numbing can present itself almost like, tingling. We like to be able to let patients identify certain areas because we're not numbing the whole mouth, we're numbing the area of insult. The tooth that's going to be removed. And so, it's only that area that will be made numb.
Sometimes patients will be in the chair and they say. "I can still feel it." We don't usually numb your whole tongue. So, the tooth's still there and your tongues still there. So, yeah you are going to feel your tooth until it's been removed.
But, there are certain landmarks and certain areas that we can test to verify that a tooth has been adequately anesthetized. Now, keep in mind, everybody's body is different. So, some people may require less anesthesia, some people might require more.
The responsibility of the patient and the Doctor is to determine what your level of anesthesia is, profound anesthesia. Because our goal is not to hurt you. It's to provide the experience with the least amount of trauma and sensitivity that's possible.
Tooth Extraction Procedure
Once the profound anesthesia has been achieved. Then, it's about removing the tooth. Now, I like to tell patients that, "these teeth were put in divinely. They were meant to last a lifetime.
God is way better at that than any of us ever could be." So, unless a tooth has some issues that have made it mobile or loose, that tooth is going to be in there. It may be broken. It may have a hole in it, but it's stable because it was meant to last.
So, what you're going to experience is pressure. Heavy pressure. And I like to tell people that, "you need to be able to differentiate between pressure and pain because the pain, I can control. Pressure and noise, I cannot."
Possible Tooth Extraction Complications
Now, sometimes there are complications that arise where a tooth or the clinical Crown, which is the portion of the tooth that you can see in the mouth, breaks.
And so, we have to retrieve the remaining portion of the tooth, which are the roots. They are embedded in bone. And sometimes that requires what's called a 'surgical procedure'. Where a minimal amount of bone is removed and the roots are retrieved. At no time is it acceptable that parts of the tooth are left in the mouth because they can become a remaining source of infection.
What To Expect After A Tooth Extraction
So, we've gotten the tooth out. Now, what do we do? Sometimes, depending on how much tissue or bone needed to be removed in order to extract that tooth, sutures may be required or stitches.
Most of the time, they are resorbable, which means as the healing occurs, the sutures will dissolve on their own. But most simple extractions do not require sutures and the tissue will heal up on its own with the proper care.
That's where the post-op instructions come in. You'll typically leave the office with some gauze placed over the extraction site. You're going to be biting down on that gauze for at least 30 minutes.
I often tell patients, "Go get your prescriptions. Once you get home, you can take the gauze out.
If you see blood coming from the area, you'll be given some extra gauze to bit down on. It's the pressure that stops the bleeding."
I also add, "if you're talking on your phone in the car on the way to get to the prescription, you're going to be bleeding when you get home." So, applying pressure is the key.
Once you get home, and you don't have any bleeding, you take your medication which is meant to keep you covered from being numb. So that there's not a period where you're experiencing soreness.
We recommend medication for at least the next 24-hours so that you're comfortable. There is nothing post-operatively that you should experience that was like the pain you experienced before you came to the office.
Pain After A Tooth Extraction
You're going to experience soreness. Soreness is something that we can't eliminate. You just had surgery. And a lot of people forget that. Sometimes people think that if they're not on an operating table with general anesthesia, they don't consider it surgery. Getting a tooth extracted is a surgery. So, your body is going to take some time to heal.
Soreness is expected in the mouth. Only around the area where you had the tooth removed. Maybe in the areas where you had the injections placed. But other than that, as the days progress the soreness should lessen. With the help and the aid of the medication, and warm salt water rinses. And most importantly, keeping the area as clean as you can, healing should be seamless.
Tooth Extraction Costs
So, let's get to the nitty-gritty. How much does tooth extraction cost? Now, most of the time if a patient has insurance, the insurance will cover a portion or a percentage of the fee and that varies.
So, we can't talk about specifics on that but note, that if you have insurance most insurance will cover a portion or percentage of that fee.
Now, what is that fee? It's going to vary across the country but, usual and customary fees for a simple or surgical extraction can vary anywhere from $200.00 to $300.00 per tooth. So then, your insurance, if you have it, will cover a percentage. Maybe 50 - 80% of that procedure.
After The Tooth Extraction: Cosmetic Dental Options
After you've had adequate healing in the area where the tooth was removed. You want to have the conversation with your dental provider about the possible replacement of that missing tooth.
There are many reasons to consider replacing your tooth. Maybe aesthetic reasons, in terms of, how your mouth looks. For function, you want to still be able to chew and have balanced occlusion.
And for spacing, because teeth have a tendency to shift when they're missing. Some of the replacement options are a removable denture, a fixed bridge or an implant.
Now you know what to expect before you get a tooth extraction. Please feel free to leave me a comment about your experience or a question about the procedure.
Howard University College of Dentistry 1993
Licenses and Associations
Licensed Dentist in the state of Georgia
American Dental Association (ADA) Member
Georgia Dental Association (ADA) Member